OneWeb, a communications solutions firm based in London, has paired up with Airtel Africa to provide satellite internet coverage across the continent.
The partnership will focus on providing enterprise and civil government customers with satellite communications services for a variety of use cases, including connections in rural areas, agriculture, hospitals, hotels, schools, and the energy and mining sectors. According to the firms, OneWeb and Airtel Africa will also supply vital backhaul in unserved and underserved areas.
OneWeb’s interest in Africa has grown, and this is just one of the numerous initiatives the company plans to launch on the continent. Satellite Network Portals (SNP) have already been installed in Angola, South Africa, Ghana, Senegal, and Mauritius. With additional launches scheduled in the near future, OneWeb continues on target to activate its coverage solutions in Africa and other parts of the world by 2023.
“At OneWeb, we believe that connectivity changes everything, thus we are thrilled to be collaborating with Airtel Africa to improve OneWeb’s connectivity solutions across the African continent.” “This is a strategic match.” said Ben Griffin, OneWeb’s VP of Mobility and AMEA. We are excited to provide high-quality service across Africa, especially in the most difficult-to-reach areas.”
Satellites send signals from space, as opposed to cable internet, which is provided by subterranean coaxial wire. This makes it perfect for distant communities or underdeveloped areas where it is difficult to physically deliver underground connections.
Several firms, like Elon Musk’s Starlink, are looking into ways to distribute satellite internet over the world as a replacement for existing mediums.
OneWeb’s investment comes at a time when the continent is focusing on digital growth, and the internet is likely to play an important role in that development.
“The number of people using the Internet is growing in Africa, and there are even more connections between systems because digital transformation is helping businesses grow,” said Luc Serviant, Group Enterprise Director of Airtel Business in Africa. We will let SMEs, entrepreneurs, corporations, and governments do business across Africa by providing low latency and highly resilient communication services through our relationship with OneWeb.”